Day trips from Tokyo to hot spring resorts
The hot spring facilities “Hakone Kowakien Yunessun” and “Mori-no-Yu” are located in Hakone, a famous tourist spot near Tokyo. Among the abundant hot springs facilities that can be visited as a day trip, Yunessun is popular with foreigners because the baths can be entered while wearing a swimsuit. Yunessun can also be enjoyed by families or couples. Yunessun has more than 30 types of unique baths, including a large spa with a Mediterranean atmosphere and open-air sake or green tea baths; you won’t get bored, even if you stay all day!
Conversely, Mori-no-Yu, attached to Yunessun, is a purely Japanese style hot spring spa sectioned into areas for men and women, which must be entered naked. From an open-air bath designed in the motif of a Japanese garden, you can enjoy the view of the grand mountains of Hakone. In addition, the Cypress Bathtub features not only a bathtub, but also flooring and walls made from cypress wood. The unique fragrance of cypress will relax your mind and body.
“Ooedo-Onsen-Monogatari”, located in Odaiba, Tokyo, is a hot spring theme park in which a traditional Japanese street is replicated indoors. When you change into your yukata (casual kimono) and enter the theme park, it is as if you have slipped back to the Edo Period (17th to 19th centuries). You can relax in a spacious common tub or an outdoor foot bath with an open atmosphere that spreads out over a large Japanese style garden. There is also a shooting booth and a shuriken (throwing star) dojo in the area where stalls at a festival are replicated, which are popular with children.
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun/Mori-no-Yu
Address:1297 Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Open hours:Yunessun 9:00 – 19:00 (November – February until 18:00)
Mori-no-Yu 11:00 – 21:00
Access:Approx. 90 minutes from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station by Odakyu Line Limited Express “Romancecar”
Approx. 20 minutes from Hakone-Yumoto Station to Kowakien by Izu-Hakone Bus
Address:2-6-3 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Open hours:11:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. the following day
Access:Approx. 2 minutes on foot from Yurikamome Telecom Center Station
Approx. 7 minutes by a shuttle bus from Rinkai Lilne Tokyo Teleport Station
SPA WORLD & Spa Resort Hawaiians
SPA WORLD is a natural hot spring spa located in urban Osaka with the catchphrase, “Onsen from around the world”. The Onsen (hot spring) area is divided into a “European Onsen Zone” and an “Asian Onsen Zone”, and you can enjoy a variety of bath experiences in baths in each zone that have themes from various parts of the world (the zones alternate between being for men and women monthly). Areas where you enter while wearing swimsuits, such as the Amusement Pool with its waterslide or the Panoramic Family Bath, are also popular as they can be enjoyed by men and women together. In addition, many kinds of gourmet street foods that represent the food city, Osaka, including takoyaki (octopus dumpling balls), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers) are available. The location has achieved a one-star rating in Michelin Green Guide Japan and is popular among foreigners as well.
Spa Resort Hawaiians is a large-scale hot spring resort where you can feel the tropical Hawaiian atmosphere while being in Iwaki, a snowy area in the Tohoku district. It is famous as the stage for the film “Hula Girls”. Its indoor heated pool with its huge waterslide and the outdoor spa area that use water from hot springs are entered while wearing swimsuits. Moreover, the “Edo Jowa Yoichi” area is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest open-air bath in the world, having a bath with an area of more than 1,000 m2. The resort was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and operations were suspended temporarily. However, operations were resumed in February 2012. The Hawaiian Show has also been resumed, and the place is busier than it was before the earthquake.
Address:3-4-24 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Open hours:Onsen 10:00 – 8:45 a.m. the following day
Bedrock bath 10:00 – 6:00 a.m. the following day
Pool 10:00 – 7:00 (weekdays) 10:00 – 22:00 (Saturday, Sunday, holidays, days before holidays)
Access:Next to the No. 5 Exit of Dobutsuenmae Station of the Osaka Municipal Subway Midosuji or Sakaisuji Lines
Next to the East Exit of Shin-Imamiya Station of the JR Loop Line
Next to the Minamikasumi Station of the Hankai Tramway
Spa Resort Hawaiians
Address:Warabidaira Jobanfujiwaramachi, Iwaki-shi, Fukushima
Open hours:9:00 – 22:15 (weekdays)
8:30 – 22:15 (Saturday, Sunday, holidays, days before holidays)
Access:Exit the train at Yumoto Station of the JR Joban Line; approx. 15 minutes by courtesy bus
List of casual hot springs in Japan
- Toshimaen Niwa-no-Yu (Toshimaen Garden Spa) (Tokyo) (Japanese)
- Spa LaQua (Tokyo)
- Asakusa ROX Matsuriyu (Tokyo) (Japanese)
- SPA & HOTEL MAIHAMA EURASIA (Chiba) (Japanese)
- Fujiyama Onsen (Yamanashi) (Japanese)
- Fuji Chobo-no-yu Yurari (Yamanashi) (Japanese)
- Sagamiko Onsen Ururi (Kanagawa) (Japanese)
- Nagashima Spaland (Aichi) (Japanese)
- Nagashima Spaland (Aichi) (PDF)
Try out community-based public baths!
Aside from hot spring inns or amusement facilities with natural hot springs, there are several hundred public baths known as “Sento” that are used by local residents throughout Japan. In these public baths, you can take a bath in a large bathtub at a reasonable rate of 450 yen (in the case of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area as of 2013). Each sento has an elaborate design; for example, “Umenoyu” in Kita-Senju, Tokyo, has an external appearance that looks like a temple or a castle with a gabled roof, and its interior is decorated with wall paintings of Mt. Fuji and other objects, which is a common style among public baths in the Kanto area. Public baths have differing styles depending on the area; for instance, public baths in the Kansai area often have a Western-style external appearance and use tile paintings as interior decorations. It could be fun to explore public baths throughout Japan.
SENTO (public bath) Umenoyu
Address:41-11, Asahicho, Senju Adachi-Ku, Tokyo
Open hours:4:00 p.m. – 0:00 a.m. (front desk hours)
Holidays:First, second and third Sundays
Access:One minute on foot from Kita-Senju Station of the Tsukuba Express, Tokyo Metro, JR and Tobu Lines